Oil Minister Sees Demand Recovering 

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India's oil demand could bounce back to pre-pandemic levels by December as billions of dollars of government stimulus funds boost the country's economy, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Tuesday. The world’s third-largest oil consumer saw its oil demand contract by 460,000 b/d in 2020 to 4.53 million b/d because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA expects demand to recover to 4.81 million b/d this year but fall short of the 4.99 million b/d seen in 2019. Pradhan, speaking at the BNEF Summit, said high oil prices are a challenge for India and have been stoking inflation (IOD Jun.24'21). The rise in oil prices since last fall and high domestic taxes have pushed retail prices for diesel and gasoline in India to historic highs, eroding household incomes that have already been hit hard by the pandemic.

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